work has included calculations of the value of rule-making and other aspects
of the Doha Round that are not normally expressed in numbers. For example
for “trade facilitation” (negotiations to cut red tape and streamline
customs procedures), a 1% improvement in indicators representing
transparency and predictability could increase trade in manufactured
products by 0.7%, the workshop heard.
The ranges of figures reflect different
assumptions about the calculations and about governments’ reactions, such as
how much they use flexibilities allowing them to dilute liberalization.
Some economists also warned of the harm failure to
reach a deal might cause. The most pessimistic scenario is the most
protectionist one that is still legal under present WTO rules, without a
Doha Round deal. If governments closed their markets for goods and services
to the maximum allowed under their present commitments (going to the highest
tariffs legally bound in the WTO, and the minimum market opening they
committed in services), this could slash world trade in goods and services
by almost 10%, the workshop heard.
“ The hard work that governments have put into
this round during the past nine years of negotiations has resulted in some
remarkable achievements. Implementation of the gains already achieved would
deliver a trading system that is more equitable, more efficient and more
effective,” Director-General Pascal Lamy concluded.
“Quite apart from the numbers on the specific
parts of the package, and we have seen and heard quite a few sets of figures
today, there are also the systemic benefits to the deal in front of us
today,” he said.
“ But the numbers cannot substitute for a
colletive sense of determination needed to conclude this round. There is a
strong message that reaching a deal can send to the public and to the
markets — even in times of crisis governments can and do work together to
accomplish important things.”
The workshop on “recent analyses of the Doha
Round” was organized jointly by the
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, the
World Bank and the World Trade Organization.
Its purpose was to take a look at recent work
seeking to evaluate the trade policy changes that might be in prospect from
a completed Doha Round and what the impact of the changes would be.